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We've had a fantastic response since we launched our online suggestion box in January 2008. We know we haven't always been as quick as we could have been in responding to your suggestions, but we're currently implementing strategies to improve our response time. Please keep your comments coming -- you help make us better!

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10 Recent Suggestions

Suggestion

(Feb 4/16) I have been really surprised at how all the McMaster libraries close at the same time during
the school year at 10:45pm. At my undergraduate university, which had only about 7000
students, the main library was open until 2am every day. The situation at McMaster really
makes it difficult to find study space at night when I personally am very productive. I have
actually found that there are usually a good number of people forced to leave at the end of
every night especially during midterms. In addition, there are likely many students who do
not come to the library because of their early closing time. I understand that running all
libraries past a specific time is expensive. The Learning Commons are traditionally open much
later, however they can be very noisy. I suggest that one of the major libraries like Mills,
Thode or Health Sciences be open until 2am during the school year. This will allow students
who get more work done late at night to study without distractions. Many of us including
myself find it difficult to concentrate at home so study in the library.

Library response:

Thanks for submitting your comments.

Each term we roll out extended hours as demand and use dictates im Mills, Innis and Thode libraries. The Health Sciences library determines its own hours.

For the first couple of weeks of each term we provide standard hours since late night studying is not something students want or require. Once we get past the 1st month or so, we start providing late night hours, Sunday to Thursday until 2am and Friday and Saturday until 10pm, in the Mills Learning Commons.

The next milestone is reading week each term - the Learning Commons goes 24/5 at this point, Sundays to Thursdays.

Last term we introduced Quiet Late Night Studying in the Innis Library (KTH-108) Mondays to Thursdays, staying open until 3am. We will be doing this again starting the Monday after the spring Reading Week.

Finally, as we approach exams, we move into 24/7 in the Mills Learning Commons and Thode Library, and the main part of Mills Library and Innis Library go into extended hours, 8am to 11pm, 7 days per week. We will continue the Quiet Studying at Innis until 3am, Mondays to Thursdays.

We re-evaluate our hours, based on statistics from previous semesters, and make changes as required. Complete details about Library Hours can be found on the library website. 

(Feb 5/16)
Answered by: Anne Pottier (Associate University Librarian, Library Services)

Categories: Hours  |  Permalink
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(Feb 1/16) Hello,

Several suggestions related to the basement of Thode:

There are many broken lights in the basement of Thode, especially in the study rooms. Would
it be possible to repair these?

The furniture (especially tables) in many of the Thode study rooms is decrepit and not
terribly useful/flexible. Would it be possible to either find new tables or redistribute the
existing furniture in a better way?

The capacities of the Thode study rooms listed on the booking website are incorrect. For
example, B106 is listed as 8 but comfortably seats 12. Would it be possible to update these?

The appearance of the entire basement of Thode is rather depressing and looks terrible.
Really, its the ceiling tiles that are the biggest eyesore.There are currently at least 7
missing and 10 with the skin removed that I can see from where I am sitting. Would it be
possible to just remove them wholesale, as was done on the first floor? Instead of throwing
good money after bad? I realize that this would be a significant investment, as the walls of
the study rooms would have to be extended to the concrete ceiling, and the whole basement
would likely have to be painted, but this seems to be the best long-term solution and it
would give the library a more modern look (instead of the current 70s throwback).

Thank you for your consideration.

Library response:

Thanks so much for submitting these comments. We agree with you that the overall atmosphere of the basement of Thode Library is basically just awful. 

We have recently completed a Library Master Space Plan which will provide us with a roadmap to renovate the rest of Thode Library and much of Mills Library over the next 5-10 years. These plans include replacement of things like ceiling tiles, lights, carpeting, furniture, etc.  In fact, we hope to start with some minor renovations to the lower level of Thode this summer. So stay tuned - it will get better!

Great suggestion about updating the capacity numbers for the group study rooms. We will take a look at these rooms and make these changes on the website.

(Feb 2/16)
Answered by: Anne Pottier (Associate University Librarian, Library Services)

Categories: Other, Thode  |  Permalink
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(Jan 20/16) Blinds should be added to the windows on the second floor, particularly along the south side.
During the day, practically from 11:00 until sundown, the sun shines directly through those
windows and the glare makes the desks situated along that side virtually unusable.

Library response:

Thanks for your email. As you will see there are some stationary blinds in this area. Given the size of the windows we can't install blinds which get drawn since these would require significant maintenance over time.

We will take a look at whether it is possible to add film to some of these windows to block some of the glare, but still give us lots of light.

(Jan 20/16)
Answered by: Anne Pottier (Associate University Librarian, Library Services)

Categories: Other, Thode  |  Permalink
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(Jan 12/16) Hello,
I would like to suggest that the reference manager, Mendeley, be installed on the computers and/or laptops of the HSL library. The software is very useful as it allows for the addition of citations and references quickly to Word, as well as their storage online so that they can be retrieved from any computer with the software. Its a great alternative to RefWorks, which has now be phased out.

Thank You!

Library response:

Hello - thank you for submitting your request. At the moment, web access to Mendeley is supported, and recently they added the ability to add documents (2015-07) via their website interface: https://feedback.mendeley.com/forums/4941-general/suggestions/1022895-upload-pdfs-using-mendeley-website-interface

(Jan 12/16)
Answered by:

Categories: Computers/WiFi/Printers, Health Sciences  |  Permalink
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(Sep 11/15) Please load Stata software on computers at Innis library

Library response:

Hello,

Thank you for the suggestion - have you tried SPSS for Windows on the systems in Innis? Is there something specific you need to do that SPSS does not support?


Further: Ines Perkovic from Innis Library says:

It looks as though Stata IS available in all the UTS student labs. http://www.mcmaster.ca/uts/lab_facilities/labs/software_avail/index.html

The closest student lab to the Innis Library is the KTH basement (KTH B121 and B123) - only a short walk away from us.  This may ultimately be the solution/answer to the suggestion below.

(Sep 14/15)
Answered by: mcallic

Categories: Other, Innis  |  Permalink
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(Apr 10/15) The 6th floor at mills has varying temperatures; It is getting unreasonably hot for some
reason. I asked around, and people feel the same. Its been like this for the past couple of
days that Ive come here. If something can be done to maintain a normal room temperature, that
would be nice. Thank you.

Library response:

We apologize for the situation - campus facilities staff are trying to figure out what is going on so they can resolve it. We hope they will identify the problem shortly, with a solution to go with it. There is nothing else we can do but keeping reporting it and asking for updates. Sorry - we know this is a very difficult environment to study effectively in.

(Apr 14/15)
Answered by: Anne Pottier (Associate University Librarian, Library Services)

Categories: Study Space, Mills  |  Permalink
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(Mar 30/15) More computers with SPSS would be fantastic. Kinda difficult when only 4 of them have SPSS on them. My stats class has 300 students so. And the labs are always in use for classes.

Library response:

Fortunately, there are a few options to help alleviate your frustration.  UTS provides a link to their student labs calendar which can help identify the labs that are not booked for classes during the day.  Alternatively, Thode and Mills Libraries offer SPSS on their “research computers”.   Click here for their equipment locations and available software.  Software costs prevent us from increasing our SPSS access at this time.

(Mar 31/15)
Answered by: Neera Bhatnagar (Head of Systems & Public Services, Health Sciences Library)

Categories: Other, Health Sciences  |  Permalink
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(Mar 17/15) Most of the couches on the upper floors of Mills are worn through - the leather is cracked
and/or broken completely and the filling is often showing. This is unpleasant to look at but
also uncomfortable to sit on. Please do something!

Library response:

Were are you sitting? We have removed most of these couches, just recently.

(Mar 17/15)
Answered by: Anne Pottier (Associate University Librarian, Library Services)

Categories: Other, Mills  |  Permalink
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(Mar 17/15) I was sitting at the second floor computers yesterday and was heavily disappointed by the state
of the computers. Not only are they running outdated operating systems, the scroll wheel on the
mouse wasnt working and the keyboard was sticky and looked like it hadnt been cleaned in
years - there was brown-ish dust and gunk all over it.

Library response:

Thank you for sharing the feedback on the computers. We are actively investigating where we have public computers and refreshing them around a strategy of making computing a bit more invisible. When things get older (and filthier) they are the opposite of being invisible. We'd like to fix this.

Are you referring to the computers in the Learning Commons - or near the bookstacks?

(Mar 18/15)
Answered by: Anne Pottier (Associate University Librarian, Library Services),mcallic

Categories: Computers/WiFi/Printers, Mills  |  Permalink
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(Feb 15/15) Hello,
Would it be possible to change to Thode retrieve from storage functionality to work like
the one for Mills/Offsite? For Mills/Offsite its one-click, so long as you are logged in,
but with Thode you have to copy-paste and enter data that is already in the system elsewhere.
The functionality has already been developped and implemented (and is already used at Thode
for Recall requests), so why not tweak the few lines of code it would take to implement one-
click storage retrieval for Thode?

Library response:

Thanks for the suggestion. We will check into this to see what we can do to provide similar functionality. As you say, we have done it once so we should be able to do it again.

(Feb 17/15)
Answered by: Anne Pottier (Associate University Librarian, Library Services)

Categories: Customer Service, Thode  |  Permalink
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